Monday, October 02, 2006

the epic song

There is something to be said for the epic song, and so I’m going to say that something. They are those types of songs that you always hear in movies, or towards the end of a really dramatic TV show. They are larger than life. I like to imagine my life with epic songs playing in the background – I like to imagine that you could purchase my soundtrack for $17.95 someday.

I’m convinced that U2 is the greatest band of all time. I know everyone says that. I’d like to say that I was a fan before everyone got all hyped up about them again when they released All That You Can’t Leave Behind… all that aside though, U2 are the masters at the epic song. My friend Jon will quickly point out that they did not invent the epic song, but I hold that they certainly popularized it and brought it to a new level. Anyone who has seen them play “Streets” live will agree.

There’s something about bands that come from small islands in the North Atlantic that makes them incredibly good at creating epic songs. I’m speaking of course mainly of England, Scotland, Ireland, and believe it or not, Iceland. Maybe it’s because these small islands are in fact small nations, and being a small nation you’re always getting picked on by the other guys – makes your national history riddled with war and the need to fight to survive (think Braveheart). The epic song captures that spirit I think. The fight, the struggle, followed by victory… sometimes followed by defeat… but there’s this passion indwelt within, and whether victory or defeat is the outcome, you can’t help but recognize that the fight was a good one – it’s motive was pure.

I think I imagine my life set to epic songs because I want my life to resemble one. And so regarding that soundtrack that you can buy for $17.95… if you want your week to be epic, hop on to iTunes and get some of these very epic songs. Many of them are by bands from small island nations. I’ve tried to limit my U2 songs, but it was difficult. There’s this common theme that runs through all of them though: a simple, quiet beginning, but driving – there’s a pulse behind it and you know there is a purpose, you know it’s going somewhere – maybe it’s to fix the world… maybe it’s just to fix yourself.. You gotta close your eyes – you have to imagine this being played in a huge open dark arena, or on top of some great mountain overlooking the ocean. And then there is this moment where the whole thing opens up, the lights stream down, the fog lifts, and then..… epic.

U2 – Where The Streets Have No Name
Embrace – Ashes
Massive Attack – Teardrop
Howie Day – Perfect Time Of Day
Dire Straits – Brothers In Arms
Mat Kearney – All I Need
Switchfoot – Happy Is A Yuppy Word
Sia – Breathe Me
Keane – This Is The Last Time
Jeff Buckley – Last Goodbye
Mae – The Everglow
Athlete – Half Light
U2 – With Or Without You
Peter Gabriel – Downside, Up
Kent – 747 (We Ran Out Of Time)
Coldplay – Fix You
Sigur Ros – Saeglopur
Snow Patrol – Chasing Cars
U2 – Walk On
Delirious – Obsession
The Normals – The Survivor


uncle tim said...

well, some of these tunes (with or without you, chasing cars) must be played after a big break up of separation of friends where you stare with empty eyes out a window with raindrops streaming down.... that's epic.

uncle tim said...
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The Giesenator said...

i have to agree with the song the Everglow by Mae.. it is my favorite Mae song because of its epic status.